Mayor Ann Thane issued a veto yesterday on a resolution passed unanimously by the Amsterdam Common Council on April 15, 2014 which appointed seven people to a Charter Review Committee.
From Thane’s written response:
It appears to me that this action has been taken to continue the conflict between the executive and legislative branches of city government. This conclusion is supported by two factors. First, this resolution was proposed just two weeks after the Montgomery County Supreme Court issued a ruling interpreting the City Charter in favor of the executive branch and therefore appears to be aimed at reversing that result. Second, the resolution appoints former corporation counsel Robert Going as the chairman of the committee. His is the very same person who had been advising the sponsor of this resolution that she and the council had the authority to unilaterally negotiate and approve contracts.
This continued conflict must stop. In order to effectively manage the needs and concerns of our taxpayers, we must learn to work in our roles set forth in the Charter.
While there may be some benefit from targeted improvements to the City Charter, it is more important at this time to focus on substantive issues such as budgeting, infrastructure improvements and economic development, rather than the relative powers of the executive or legislative branches. It is more important to do the work of the government than to recast the structure of government.